Cameron launches new regeneration body to attract foreign investors

Prime Minister David Cameron has launched a new government-backed regeneration body designed to help foreign investors identify and fund regeneration projects across the UK.

Prime Minister David Cameron
Prime Minister David Cameron

Speaking at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet in the City of London last night, Cameron revealed that the Regeneration Investment Organisation (RIO) would be launched as part of UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), the arm of government which aim to attract overseas investors to the UK.

The UKTI said the RIO would direct investors to "credible, UK industry-backed development opportunities throughout the country".

It will be chaired by former lord mayor of the City of London Sir Michael Bear and former Cabe director Nahid Majid is chief operating officer.

Board members include developer Argent’s CEO, David Partridge, developer St Modwin’s CEO Bill Oliver, property investment firm Macquarie’s director Jonathan Harris, and professor Michael Parkinson of Liverpool University.

Cameron said: "This [RIO] will act as a one-stop shop of our major inward investment opportunities – with £100 billion of possible projects on the table.

"These projects won’t just mean new jobs in London or the South East – but right across the whole country."

Cameron said the organisation’s first deal that would boost regeneration in Liverpool, Salford, Sheffield and Leeds was "just days away".

Sir Michael Bear said there is a "really strong supply" of regeneration projects across the UK, but the offer is fragmented with delays and is difficult for investors to navigate.

He said: "The Regeneration Investment Organisation provides a great opportunity to announce a radical new approach to helping boost investment into the UK and provides a fantastic way of helping investors to find a credible pipeline and range of UK development opportunities and therefore get money into good projects and enable growths across the regions."

Property lobby group the British Property Federation (BPF) said the new body could be "hugely beneficial" to foreign direct investment in UK infrastructure, and serve as a catalyst for economic growth.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the BPF, said: "We are delighted that government has heeded the calls of the UK development industry and has tasked UKTI to do more to attract investment into major development and regeneration opportunities.

"There are a number of excellent regeneration investment opportunities across the UK that, with the right kind of marketing, will be extremely attractive to overseas investors. Sir Michael’s involvement bodes particularly well in view of his strong background in property and construction".

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